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Monthly Archives: June 2010

This sweet wedding from Mindy + Phil of Phindy Studios whispers spring to us, and with summer almost officially here, we thought we’d revel in the pretty blooms + pale pastels of our favorite season one more time.  Corrine, in her mother’s wedding gown, and Chuck were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Tennessee where many of their family members exchanged vows before them.    Amazingly, the bridesmaids – who all chose their own springtime frocks and carried petite blooms from Eye Design Floral – picked varying shades of pastels without any overlap!  Don’t they just look Easter-perfect?  Come back soon for more images from C + C’s celebration, planned by Mary Alice Sublett and Amber Housley of A Delightful Day.

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Moriah reply

    Wow! What a beautiful wedding. I love all the soft pastels. And the bride’s dress is to die for!

  2. avatar F @ sanebrideadvice reply

    LOVE the bridesmaid dress arrangement. Fits perfectly into a post we recently had on mixing up the bridesmaid dresses. This here is it done in perfection. I love the serene feeling that is exuded as well. Beautiful bride and just all over beautiful shoot. Thanks for sharing

  3. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Hi, F! I love the mixed dresses, too. So chic but casual, and all of her ‘maids look wonderful, don’t they?Emily @ SW

  4. avatar Phil from Phindy reply

    So glad you shared this one! We loved this couple! Moriah: The dress was Corrine’s mother’s wedding dress! Cool huh?

  5. avatar Jeffrey @ FullFrame Cinema reply

    mmmmmm Love me some Phindy ;) Great stuff guys!

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Last month, we focused on what many people insist is the bottom line of a happy marriage: a healthy, well-balanced bank account.  Katie Brown, our resident relationship expert and the voice behind Confessions of a Young Married Couple, reminded us that it’s one thing to manage your own bank account, but quite another to join checking accounts together in holy matrimony.

With the money issue solved (or at least settled enough so we’re comfortable talking about our shared finances), Katie tackles what two young couples in love fear more than anything else: losing the flame that first sparked their relationship.  The bad news?  The spark can and will fade over time.  The good news?  Your marriage won’t burn out quite so quickly.

Want to know how you protect your precious spark from the sometimes harmful elements of marriage?  Read on!


 What’s the real deal with the “spark” after you get married?  Do you lose it?  And, if not, how do you keep it? 

This is such an honest question and it deserves an honest, straight-forward answer.  The truth is that I don’t know a single married couple who still has the spark they had before they tied the knot. 


What a statement.

Are you guys still there? 

Good.  Because that was the hardest part, so if you can read that and you still haven’t called off your wedding you’re doing good. 

I have heard a lot of people sugar-coat the answer to this question before, but the hard, simple, wonderful fact is that for 99.99% of couples, that spark you had in the beginning that made you fall in love and start picking out china patterns and monograms goes away. 

But let me tell you why…

The definition of a spark is something that ignites a fire.  The spark is the beginning.  The kickoff.  The starting line.  Sparks aren’t supposed to last.  What does last is that flame that the spark… well… sparked.  And the good news is that there are ways to keep that flame burning, and, trust me: it’s a whole lot easier to keep a flame burning than a spark sparking

1.  Be the flame that you are comfortable being.  There are lots of flames out there.  There are the small candles that sit on kitchen counters and light up cozy corners of Italian restaurants.  There are blazing wildfires that consume everything in their path.  There are constant, steady flames of old lighthouses that guide vessels to safety in the dark of night.  There are campfire flames that keep you warm and melt your marshmallows while you chat with good friends late into the evening.  Flames comes in all shapes and sizes and serve countless functions. 

So do relationships.  And one of the first steps to making your flame last is to know what kind of flame you have.  Are you and your partner a comfortable campfire or a steadfast lighthouse?  Are you a cozy candlelight or a blazing wildfire?  Each flame is preserved in different ways.  A raging wildfire will never be satisfied with a date night out every six months, and a cozy campfire won’t survive being dressed up for formal cocktail parties every weekend.  

The most basic way to keep the flame of your relationships alive is to know what kind of relationship you have and to understand what it takes to make that relationship happy.  It’s so easy to look at other people’s marriages and say, “Gosh, they are jet-setting every weekend and hardly ever argue.  We should be more like them.”  But the flame of their relationship is a different flame than your relationship, and so what keeps someone else happy and healthy might not be what keeps your relationship happy and healthy.   Comparing your marriage to others is a sure-fire way to kill your flame.

2.  Add kindling.  If you start a fire today, but never add anything to the blaze, how long do you think that flame will last?  Probably as long as it takes to burn through that first batch of wood or wick, right?  Everybody knows that to keep a flame burning, you have to add kindling.  Something to keep it burning.  And you have to add things continually. 

Relationships are no different.  If you start your marriage today with the tools, skills and resources that you have right now but never add anything else, that relationship – like that flame – is going to burn right out.  It might take a couple days, maybe a couple months, for some it might even take a few years.  But if your relationship isn’t growing and deepening and changing over time through new experiences, there won’t be anything left for the flame to burn. 

Try to keep bringing new things into your relationship.  Continuously.  Maybe it’s taking a class where you both learn a new skill.  Maybe it’s visiting places you’ve never been before.  Maybe it’s making new friends together.  Maybe it’s working on your personal strengths and weaknesses as a team.  Every time you experience something new as a couple, you are opening your relationship up to the possibility of deepening.  And where better to put a flame for safekeeping than in a deep place, protected from the elements of drama and chaos that happen in shallower places. 

3.  Don’t be afraid to use starter logs.  I’m pretty good at starting a campfire.  I know how to stack the wood and where to stuff the newspaper for kindling.  The part that I always have trouble with is keeping the fire burning over time.  I get busy cooking hamburgers or I wander off to find the bath house, and before I know it, I come back to my campfire only to find that I have let it burn itself out.  That’s when I run back to my car, grab my emergency starter log, and throw it in the fire pit.  In about ten seconds – voila! – I have a blazing campfire again. 

In your marriage, don’t be afraid to get a little help when you see that flame start to fade.  Even the best of Boy Scouts knows to come prepared with tools in case their fire goes out.  Reach out to girlfriends, your sister, your mother – reach out to those people in your life who guide you in all other areas.  For some reason, we all feel as though asking for help in our marriages is a sign of failure.  Pashaw.  Asking for help, getting advice, or talking about where your marriage is struggling is not the failure; it is the first step towards success. 

And if you come back to your flame only to discover that it is beyond the help of even a starter log, then its time to get even MORE help.  Talk to your minister or a marriage counselor, and do it with your head held high knowing that a flame cannot exist in a vacuum.  It needs oxygen and wood and, when times get really tough – and they will -, they might need a little gasoline or lighter fluid poured over them. 

The pure, simple truth is that sparks do fade, but they are supposed to fade.  It’s the flame in your marriage that drives your relationship forward and ensures that your path is lit in front of you.  So discover what kind of flame you have, find what it takes to keep that flame burning and use help to re-light the fire when it grows dim.  Because when you’re marriage is healthy and happy, you glow from the inside out.   

Want the 411 on living happily-after-married?  Check out her blog, Confessions of a Young Married Couple before you go!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar GGG reply

    Great post Katie – thanks!

  2. avatar Stephanie reply

    Katie – great advice. Honest Advice. I’m sending this to my two friends awaiting marriage, because as often as I get asked this question I did not have a good answer. Thanks for helping convey what I think all married couples want to explain but aren’t sure how to and how to keep the positive points of just that conveyed.thanks!

  3. avatar Catherine reply

    This is beautifully written and absolutely, 100% true.

  4. avatar Lindsay reply

    This is great advice and a wonderful read. Thanks Katie. I love your blog and this post to me, is one of your best. Thank you.

  5. avatar Cindy reply

    Great article Katie, very insightful!!

  6. avatar Katherine reply

    Loved this post! Go you. I think this applies to all relationships too — friendships, dating, etc. Gotta work at it to make it work in the end!

  7. avatar Rachel reply

    Despite reading your blog every day i still look forward to your article, such good advice and so beautifully written, and makes total sense. I’m not married but doing my best to wait patiently to be asked, but we have been together 7 years so i can relate to the sparks and flames. Thanks for your fabulous words of wisdom. rachel x

  8. avatar Jessica reply

    This is wonderful advice not only for the engaged or newlywed crowd, but also for those of us who’ve been married for a while and need a reminder every now and then. Well spoken (written?) and so true!

  9. avatar Megan (Best of Fates) reply

    This post makes me feel more comfortable about marriage all around – and that’s a pretty impressive influence. So very well done. You know, as always.p.s.~ You should have more photos wearing funny hats. Really. Funny hats are always funny.

  10. avatar Regina reply

    Wow! I am constantly blown away by the wisdom you show at such a young age. And I hereby crown you Queen of the Metaphor! I’m coming up on my 20th wedding anniversary, so I guess we’re doing something right, but you have a gift of expressing the essence of things that I envy. Keep writing!

  11. avatar Kate Buselli reply

    i love the part about a sparkling marriage! great post as always!

  12. avatar Beth reply

    I love that you took such an honest approach to your writing! I wish someone would have told me this before I got married!

  13. avatar [email protected] reply

    I am a huge fan of analogies and you hit the analogy ball out of the park here Katie!I would say that we are a fireplace fire. Similar to the camp fire but it doesn’t require that I endure nature to enjoy it. :)

  14. avatar Moneik reply

    Great Post! Love the analogies.

  15. avatar Emily reply

    This is so true. No one tells you how hard things can be after you get married.

  16. avatar Katie reply

    I’ve been reading your articles from SW Magazine every month, and so far this one is the best yet! It is so wonderfully written, and so honest at the same time. But when you’re talking about a subject that may potentially make or break a marriage, there is no other way to be except honest. I think writing these posts every month takes a lot of courage on your part and a lot of confidence in your marriage! It’s great to see such a down to earth person talk about marriage the way it should be talked about. Not only do you mention the stuff that keeps a marriage going, but also the things to do if for some reason things start to get a little rough in a marriage. I don’t think SW Magazine could have picked a better person to write these articles, and I really enjoy reading them! I have been married for 3 years, and I’m really starting to get to the point where I NEED this article. Thanks so much for your honesty every month, you’ve made a difference in my marriage already – and I’m sure you have done or you will do the same for other marriages too!

  17. avatar Sarah H. reply

    Cute post Katie :) I like the campfire flame, with s’mores of course!

  18. avatar Kristi reply

    I loved this article! My fiance and I are totally a campfire flame!

  19. avatar Katy reply

    Great post, Katie! I am a newly newly married lady (2 weeks and counting!) so these are great tips to keep in reserve!

  20. avatar Abby @ They Lend Me Their Hearts reply

    So true Katie. One thought I had was that if that period of the relationship – where you can think of no one but your significant other, where all your energy is willingly poured into that person, where you want nothing more than to make out every second of the day and night – lasted forever, our marriages would be pretty dang hot, but the rest of our lives would fall apart because, lets face it, it turns out there is more to life than making out with your fiance!

  21. avatar Betty reply

    Great post Katie, I really appreciate your honesty. I am all about some starter logs, or whatever it takes to keep that flame flamin’!

  22. avatar Lindsey reply

    Great article!

  23. avatar Deborah reply

    I totally agree! I love the way you put it in perspective. It’s hard to put into words what the flame is and I think you did a beautiful job!

  24. avatar Lisa reply

    Absolutely true and its great to see you step up and tell it like it is.

  25. avatar Kendra reply

    love the analogy. This was the perfect post for how things are going in my life right now. Thank you!

  26. avatar Life of a Doctor’s Wife reply

    What an honest and helpful post, Katie! I love it.

  27. avatar Katie reply

    Wonderfully written! After being married 6 years, as well as 10 months into our first born, our relationship has started to fizzle. I love your analogy and finding which fire fits your relationship. I’ve been motivated to seek out ways I can re-kindle the fire in my marriage. When I can’t find the words to express what I’m going through I’m so thankful to have found elequent writers like yourself. Your insight helps me better communicate within my own relationship. Thank you!

  28. avatar Michelle reply

    Good post…I feel like sometimes the spark comes back, just when you need it. I’m so grateful my flame is still burning after 11 years!

  29. avatar Tiffany reply

    I really like the food for thought in this article. Katie, hearing your impressions and perspective always reassure me that relationships can work even when they aren’t always perfect if you’re just willing to put forth the effort — and it doesn’t even have to be TONS of effort, just carefully timed and placed. Thanks for another round of real advice!

  30. avatar Dawn reply

    love this post and your expansion on the metaphor of a spark in relationships!!

  31. avatar Heather Ben reply

    I agree – we have been married for almost 8 years.

  32. avatar Rachel P. reply

    Such a great comparison!

  33. avatar Maggie reply

    I think this article is among the best you’ve ever written. It’s clear to me you are working on your craft of writing. I love the blog and loved this post!

  34. avatar Kristen reply

    This is so refreshing to read! I’ve been engaged for about 8 months, and getting married in 10, and I’ve been wondering about how to sustain things, and how to keep myself from crippling worry about how to stay happy, and married, for the long haul. Thank you Katie!

  35. avatar Confessions of a Young Married Couple: On Moving « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] out her blog, Marriage Confessions, here, or check out her past columns for Southern Weddings here, here, here, here, and here. Have a question for Katie? Feel free to email her! xo Emily July 25, 2011 […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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